It is understood that the SPFL have agreed extensive changes to the format of the Challenge Cup for the 2016/17 season.
U20s teams from the Premiership sides will join the top two sides from the Welsh and Northern Irish leagues in what was once a competition solely for the Scottish lower leagues and Highland and Lowland leagues.
TV deals are in place for all three countries to cover the competition’s latter stages with a new sponsorship deal set to be announced in due course.
Premiership U20s sides will be in the competition from the opening round while the Champions and runners-up from Wales and Northern Ireland enter in the fourth round.
The full structure will be as follows:-
First round: 12 Premiership U20s, teams placed 3-10 in League Two as well as 4 Highland League and 4 Lowland League teams
Second round: 14 winners from round one, teams placed 1 and 2 in League Two and teams placed 3-10 in League One
Third round: 12 winners from round two, 10 Championship clubs, teams 1 and 2 in League One
Fourth round: 12 winners from round three, 2 teams from Northern Ireland, 2 teams from Wales